Le chapitre 18
Xu chaired their fourth weekly management meeting. While the colonists had originally thought that this event would be a waste of time, now they gave it their highest priority. They had already passed through the health, hygiene and safety minutes. They had begun to review their resources. While their water usage was within expectations, it remained the critical resource for their survival. At each meeting they reflected on their consumption and their future. For the presentation on water, Xu brought up Jean for his review of the colony’s infrastructure.
Jean pulled his presentation onto the large monitor in front of them. He showed how their pipes and connectors remained tight with leakage at or below the nominal rate. Luckily for them this was a routine slide. Oddly, they found that being self sufficient was easier said than done. Some of their external monitors could measure leakage as low as hundreds of molecules a minute and their detectors were never nil. “How could they ever be self-sufficient given this?” they all wondered. Yet, with several weeks experience they had built up a history and could readily see any discrepancies in the measured discharge; though none showed. Jean moved quickly on to the slide depicting their resources. Their usage rate of breathable air remained reasonable and they had many ways to access pure oxygen if need. Also he showed how their scrubbers were cleaning out their CO2 and automatically depositing it into reservoirs destined for the future vegetation production. Last, Jean brought up the slide showing the water availability. It was simple; a barrel symbolising the amount in storage, a hollow line entering the barrel to indicate no water production and a line exiting the barrel that showed their daily, non-recyclable consumption. While Jean liked the graphic’s simplicity, sometimes it seemed too stark. By taking the available amount and dividing by the consumption they could calculate to within the hour when their water would run out. With a resupply container arriving within a month, he knew they had little margin for error. Jean continued on describing the status of the major equipment modules then closed with a satisfactory exclamation of “really, nothing new to report”.
Xu allowed Jean to finish his summary and then she brought up her final slide, the near term schedule of events. Aside from the resupply container’s imminent arrival and another some months later, their slate was empty except for the visitors. A group of four; scientists, tourists and operators was slated to arrive shortly after the resupply vessel. She knew that the Hab could accommodate the extra people but she was a bit more than curious as to how their guests would fit into their routine.